2 weeks ago
The true integrity of a software vendor shows in their commitment to their users and the on-going support of their product. I’m sharing an actual example of Swiftpage’s support commitment to users of Act Pro v22.1 Update 4. After 20+ years of using an awesome Act Pro product, upgrading as suggested (several hundreds of $$$) and advised by a Swiftpage sales representative we may no longer have security access to our current Act Pro v20 product because of vendor licensing changes (unique user license codes v. unique license code per shared use) AND having zero issues with Act Pro v20, we upgraded to v.22.1 update 4. (Cliff notes: v20 was issue-free and v22.1 update 4 has more bugs than fixes).
We are a 2-user office and Act Support no longer responds to our direct requests for support.
Yet… Swiftpage states: If you are running Act! Pro v21 or Act! Pro v22: You will be able to continue using your current software after June 30th. However, it is important to note that these versions will no longer be supported after June 30, 2021. (EDIT: Now, the same suggestive ads are stating we should get v23 as the last Act Pro upgrade. It would be nice if they could release a stable Act product of any version. Doesn’t Swiftpage use Agile principles and/or Scrum practices in software development to remediate bugs? Are customers considered the ‘testing’ staff?)
The sale: 6-20-2020 ($626.38 USD, doesn’t include all the previous upgrade costs)
The upgrade installation: 11-28-2020 (Thanksgiving Day weekend in the US)
Problems begin: 12-3-2020 (first day in production)
Frequent loss of access to layouts (requires restart), Marketing tabs repeating and repeating, slow performance, notes requiring several tabs prior to landing in the body (shortcut keys worthless), web licensing app intermittently failing to validate (this has stabilized). Let’s not forget about the Act v22.1 update 4 (tab, tab, tab) to get to the Notes body (Act technician acknowledged, but a fix timeline has not been determined). The extra tabs were not required in Act v20 and all this after 3 days of use. These intermittent issues replicated (and witnessed by Act support staff during remote support sessions) while using an ACT ‘TEST’ database, production DB with/without attachments. Our Act database is around 700M. We do not store attachments in the DB and only store links to external file attachments. All Act directories have been whitelisted in ESet (AV) and Malwarebytes (Malware) applications on both systems (prior to the 1st repair attempt with screenshots included in my emailed responses to Act support). We use Windows 10 Professional with updates, 32G memory on the Act DB supporting system (16G on the 2nd user), solid state drives and Office/Outlook 2019. These issues must be Act Pro v22 problems because we had successfully worked with the same hardware/software configurations and a couple of supporting applications (w10pro, 32g ram, solid state drives) with Act Pro v20 for the last 3 years. The only change was the upgrade from Act v20 to the Act v22.1 update 4 product.
Previous Support processes:
Swiftpage remote support actions (often repeating the same troubleshooting tasks, not in any order):
Uninstalling/downloading/reinstalling Act Pro v22.1 (multiple times)
Search/deletion of multiple Act Pro registry entries (multiple times)
Deletion of all Act %appdata% (multiple times)
Review of AV and Malwarebytes of whitelisting settings (and we provided screenshots)
Uninstalling/Reinstalling Act Pro to the C:\ (Act Support states it shouldn’t be installed on a local drive D:\)
Review of Windows Event log for system issues (nothing here affecting Act Pro)
Turn on Act diagnostics (they are on, but apparently not actually used in troubleshooting)
Changing security on all Act directories (and related files) to PUBLIC (multiple times).
Copying the C:\act!_pro_v22_sp1x212\Dependencies\PreReq\Plugins to its installed location (overwriting the installed version, Act for Windows?. I don’t remember its previous location.)
Act Pro DB schema changed from one version to another
Changing our ACT executable desktop shortcut(s) to select the Act executable from the Act installer’s unpacked directory (C:\act!_pro_v22_sp1x212).
Backup and restores of our production DB (multiple times as a safety step AND troubleshooting)
The troubleshooting process (in some cases repeating the exact same processes and obviously NOT a fix) appears to reflect Act support’s 1st level support. Installing/reinstalling a product does not fix inherent code problems in the application. Edit: Another more recent call… multiple emailed requests for support (ignored). Finally, we get a call (weeks later) from Act (Swiftpage) support to schedule a remote session for March 26th, 2021. At this point, its been 4 months of working around bugs in a busy office.
Latest Support processes:
The Act product is uninstalled (4 or 5th time), we delete some Act directories/registry entries and we reinstall Act v22.1 without an Internet connection (apparently, the Act installer automatically calls out to the Act resources location and installs all the available updates). We reconnect to the Internet and download/install only update #1 and update #2. The Swiftpage technician suggests we try running Act v22.1 update 2. No more updates of #3 (35M) or #4 (100+M) of fixes. I suggest Act support provide an email to us to track these changes, but he states, ‘just let us know’. Ok, how? No tracking numbers, nothing…
We have good news. The Notes stopped requiring us to ‘tab, tab, tab’ to get to the Notes body. Open a Note, it starts in the body. Hooray!
The bad news is the Act Pro v22 update 2 application gets constant memory errors (requiring task manager to end the program), layouts continue to disappear, issues with the Act Word plugin and we are restarting the Act program over 10 times a day. This is with only 1 person using the Act Pro application. Not better, worse…! As a reminder, we ran Act v20 for years without issues on the same hardware, OS and small group of supporting applications.
We can’t go back to Act v20 because the licensing process is no longer supported. Why should anyone be required to pay for Act v23 when Act v22 has so many bugs? Are customer production environments to be considered as ‘test’ subjects?
Of course, now we get this line of BS from Act Sales…
Dozens of new features and improvements have been introduced since your version of Act! Check out the graphic below to see what's new since your version or click here to see the latest version of Act! Premium in action.
Should you continue to support a vendor who wants your $$$ support, but fails to provide support for their product? I figure my only option was to post this to the community forum (if it isn’t moderated).
The Act Community is NOT available for NEW users… (Luckily, I found my old access information.) Yet, Registration has been disabled - New User Registration is no longer available for this community.
Knowledge is everything so its important to share our Swiftpage experiences. Are you have issues with Act Pro OR getting any responses from Support?
Thanks for listening!
2 weeks ago
Regarding closing to new forum members -
This forum has not been managed by Swiftpage for the last 2 years and as a result new users have been able to post junk and in some cases harmful URLs.
I have complained to Swiftpage in the UK and even to the CEO but no action taken. It is an offence to advertise drugs and this is what happened eventually on this forum and Swiftpage were warned (I was privately told so cannot verify) by the Information Officer in the UK for not managing the site and allowing the URL to remain for weeks even after many of us had flagged to the non-existent management of the forum.
Now it would appear than rather than manage the site they have stopped new users registering.
I manage a number of existing ACT users in the UK but will not sell ACT to any new prospects as I cannot be seen to support a company that does not support its client base. Sad after 30+ years to see the mess that Swiftpage has made of ACT with no understanding of the client bases it took over from Sage / Interact commerce and ploughing off in a direction that few existing clients wanted. The result is that they are now in direct competition with other CRM offerings that arguably offer better ROI at a price point that has resulted in most older ACT users to leave.
I would love to see a comment from Pat Sullivan who first helped create ACT in 1987 where it went on to be the leading Contact Management system in the world. Proud to have been a part of that in the UK when the customer was king and service was paramount.